Intelsat buys into ‘Space Tug’ concept
Hot on the heels of a similar wish made by SES, Intelsat said April 12 it is also extremely interested in a robotic spacecraft that could be used to rescue damaged satellites in orbit. Intelsat is talking to Orbital ATK (which is also in discussions with SES) and says it will be the debut customer of Orbital’s planned fleet of 5 such repair and service satellites. The first is scheduled for launch in 2018 and to be used in 2019, and is part of a $1 billion scheme for orbiting satellite repair craft.
Initially the satellites will operate as ‘mission extension vehicles’ and be able to extend the in-orbit life of a satellite. However, future designs call for these robotic units to be able to fix problems such as a stuck or non-deployed solar panels, and refuelling tasks.
Mediaset exits ‘Premium’. Sells to Vivendi
Good news for Eutelsat?
Berlusconi-owned Mediaset is seemingly exiting the pay-TV business, selling of its ‘Premium’ DTT subscription service to Vivendi. In essence the deal will take Mediaset back to a suite of commercial channels, and without the distraction of running a pay-TV business.
The deal sees Vivendi and Mediaset ‘swap’ 3.5% stakes in each other’s businesses, while both parties have signed a “strategic alliance” agreement to develop content production and distribution for international markets and to create a global OTT platform. The suggestions are that the deal signals Vivendi’s intention to play an expanded role in southern Europe (notably Italy and Spain) but also where it is gaining in strength via its Canal Plus channels internationally.